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Hospital accused of cheating medical fund

A HOSPITAL in central China's Henan Province has been ordered to pay back income it received by cheating the local medical fund for the retired.

Medical staff involved at Nanyang No.3 People's Hospital were also punished, the local health authority announced yesterday.

The Nanyang health bureau's investigation said the hospital infringed medical protocol and made illegal profits of over 50,000 yuan (US$7,312) by faking medical bills, deputy bureau director Wang Jinxiang told the local newspaper Dahe Daily.

The investigation came after complaints from patients, health officials said.

One of the complaints came from a retired woman surnamed Xi who is more than 80-years-old. Xi was hospitalized from May 2007 to June 2008 at the Nanyang hospital, a designated medical facility for the retired and one which is covered by the city's public medical fund.

Xi's daughter became suspicious when she found a bill on October 29, 2007 showing that her mother had used 258 sets of disposable diapers costing 2,580 yuan.

She reported this the local health authority and found the same thing had happened to two other patients, Qiao and Chen.

Qiao, 70, received bill on April 25, 2008 charging her 3,900 yuan for nursing staff. And Chen complained when he received a bill for respirator treatment on September 6, 2006.

The city's medical fund CAN cover Xi's for four hospital admissions each year, according to her daughter. And each time, up to 8,500 yuan of the total cost is covered. She said the hospital was faking the accounts and then directly transferring the money from the public medical fund.

The hospital said Xi had had 86 rehabilitation treatments which were not covered by the fund. She didn't want to pay for them, so the hospital had to rename the treatments so that they could be covered by the public fund. The treatments cost 2,580 yuan, it said.


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